Sean On Leave

Changing the World…One Vacation At A Time.

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Web Standards and Best Practices

July 24th, 2007 by Sean

On Thursday, my last full day at FTG Nepal this week, I will be giving a presentation to participants from the FTG Nepal’s member organizations.  FTG Nepal has 14 member organization who are managed and operated independently and all of whom have their own website.  I have been surprised with how connected Kathmandu is actually – reports in Canada before I left somewhat lagged the current situation.  High speed connections are fairly common in Internet cafes, and it is very common to for professionals to have email and for their organization to have a website.  While dial up is still the standard method of connectivity in Kathmandu, there is significant broadband access and I’ve seen billboards advertising a high-speed GPRS service which I think has tremendous potential (in fact, if I was the investing sort…<grin>).

My session on Thursday will be primarily theoretical and focus on current web development methods.  I’ll be talking about the value of adopting web standards, the separation of content from presentation, validating of HTML and CSS as methods of quality control, the issue of accessibility, and the importance of usability and user-centric design.  I will also discuss the CMS development model which separates web development work from content development work.  This talk will be mostly non-technical and hopefully provide a useful introduction to the industry best-practices which are primarily designed to manage the cost of web site maintenance.  While the front-end cost of building a website can look large, the long-term, year-over-year cost of maintaining a website will often eclipse the initial development costs, much like any software project.  For those of you familiar with this material, I’ll mostly be singing the Hymn of Zeldman <grin>.

I’m looking forward to this presentation – I have been evangelizing this position for a few years now and I’m excited with the opportunity to share it with FTG Nepal’s member organizations.  It is great to have the opportunity to speak to so many organizations at once.  Now, I just have to find out if they have a projector and if I get to play with PowerPoint 2007 some more <smile>.

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